I visited the Hotel Tree House during my first solo travel ever for my 30th birthday in September 2012 for 3 nights. I booked it through anywherecostarica.com only a day before my departure, which I highly recommend for travel in Costa Rica. It was very conveniently located in the heart of Santa Elena and the excursions I booked were all a short drive from the location. If the excursions did not provide transportation, you could easily catch a cab right outside and it would cost less than $10 (Jorge is a regular cab driver there - he provided great service and became my personal cab driver.. He even took me back to San Jose for a much cheaper price than otherwise). There were small shops, a traditional restaurant (pinto gallo for breakfast was great) and fast food shop (amazing tacos) and a supermarket right around the corner. You pretty much have everything you need around you. The hotel was ultra cheap (about $25/night) which was a delight and was very adorable. I was actually the only guest for my first 2 nights, but since I was out and about I did not realize it until my last night where I was joined by a second lone traveler :). I believe the hotel only had 5 rooms for booking.
The restaurant was a little pricey but considered to be the best around. The food was AMAZING and worth the money. The waiters provided exceptional service, especially one whose name I don't remember right now, but he is into photography. Loved him dearly!
There was not always someone at the reception desk, but someone was always available to open the door when you ring the doorbell (that was the only way to get in before staff arrived and after they left). The few people that I saw working there, were extremely nice and friendly. I would leave very early in the morning and by the time I returned (11-noon), my room would be clean, with new towels. I have no complaints.
The side I was on could be a little noisy because of the club right behind the hotel but it was no big deal. I actually appreciated feeling like I was surrounded by people while on a mountain. The music was actually pretty good and diverse (sort of like top-40 for you party-goers). The club is huge by the way :) and people staying in nearby areas go here to party. On the day I arrived Costa Rica was playing a football match and the place was packed. It was a very cool experience.
I went to Selvatura Park for ziplining and suspension bridge tours. I visited and walked the cloud forest by myself. I also went horse backriding at Finca La Estrella, which was a $4 cab ride from the hotel. I could not have asked for a better experience, better excursions and a more amazing time!
It rained a lot because it was winter (also the reason why there were few people in the excursions - only 3 others zip-lined with me and horse riding was just me, which made the experience more personal with my guide). I usually rained past 4 PM which was fine because my excursions were early and I'd be back in the hotel by that time. I sat in the restaurant during this time which was very relaxing to hear the rain as there is literally a tree growing from inside the hotel. I would also use the time to interact with other tourists staying in nearby areas.
For those who like to thank God while on vacation, the community church is located right across the street from the hotel. I went to Sunday Service on El Dia de Los Ninos (Children's Day - just like Mother's and Father's Day in the US which I thought was amazing). I do not know where so many locals came from but the church was filled and the service was beautiful - definitely a different experience while on vacation and I felt right at home.
I love Costa Rica.. and for someone who planned the trip spontaneously overnight, it was very inexpensive (about $700 including airfare, hotel and all excursions). Would definitely stay there again in a heartbeat! PURA VIDA!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.